Saturday, 17th. P.M. stood to the Southward for the land above mention’d, with the wind at North, a fresh breeze and Clear weather. At 8 o’Clock we had run 11 Leagues since Noon, when the land extended from South-West by West to North by West, being distant from the nearest shore about 3 or 4 Leagues; in this situation had 50 fathoms, a fine sandy bottom. Soon after this it fell Calm, and continued so until 6 A.M., when a light breeze sprung up at North-West, which afterwards veer’d to North-East. At sun rise, being very Clear, we plainly discover’d that the last mentioned land was an Island by seeing part of the Land of Tovy-poenammu open to the Westward of it, extending as far as West by South. At 8 o’Clock the Extreams of the Island bore North 76 degrees West and North-North-East 1/2 East, and an opening that had the Appearance of a Bay or Harbour, lying near the South point North 20 degrees West, distant 3 or 4 Leagues, being in 38 fathoms, a brown Sandy bottom. This Island, which I have named after Mr. Banks, lies about 5 Leagues from the Coast of Tovy poenammu; the South point bears South 21 degrees West from the higher peak on the Snowy Mountain so often mention’d, and lies in the Latitude of 43 degrees 52 minutes South and in the Longitude of 186 degrees 30 minutes West, by observations made of the Sun and Moon this morning. It is of a circular figure, and may be about 24 Leagues in Compass; the land is of a height sufficient to be seen 12 or 15 Leagues, and of a very broken, uneven Surface, and hath more the appearance of barrenness than fertility. Last night we saw smoke up it, and this morning some people, and therefore must be inhabited. Yesterday Lieutenant Gore, having the Morning Watch at the time we first saw this Island, thought he saw land bearing South-South-East and South-East by East; but I, who was upon Deck at the same time, was very Certain that it was only Clouds, which dissipated as the Sun rose. But neither this, nor the running 14 Leagues to the South, nor the seeing no land to the Eastward of us in the Evening, could Satisfy Mr. Gore but what he saw in the morning was, or might be, land; altho’ there was hardly a possibility of its being so, because we must have been more than double the distance from it at that time to what we were either last night or this morning, at both of which times the weather was Exceeding Clear, and yet we could see no land either to the Eastward or Southward of us. Notwithstanding all this, Mr. Gore was of the same opinion this morning; upon this I order’d the Ship to be wore, and to be steer’d East-South-East by Compass on the other Tack, the point on which he said the land bore at this time from us. At Noon we were in the Latitude of 44 degrees 7 minutes South; the South point of Banks Island bore North, distant 5 Leagues.
February 17, 2013
Saturday, 17th February, 1770